Fast? Your Joking Right?
For those who have read even a handful of my blogs you know I am on a quest. You also have probably figured out by now that I am my biggest obstacle on that quest…because I think too much. I want a deeper connection with God. I want stronger faith. This is a huge part of this whole discovery of self process for me.
Tomorrow I start a one on one discipleship program. I have been a Christian since I was a child, but I have not been a good one. In fact for years I out right turned away and said no thank you to the church. I know now that I did not have the tools I needed or the spiritual maturity to stand firm in my faith. I refuse to let that happen again. If that means starting like a new believer…that is what I am going to do.
Our church is the host church for a 21 day fast. This is centered around creating change in West Virginia. (Please check out createchangewv.org) Many churches are involved and this precedes the Festival of Life with Jonathan Shuttlesworth in September. In short, this is huge for our community, for our state. Massive soul saving mission is underway.
August 15, today, is the first day of the fast. I have never fasted. Ok, maybe for blood work and I am one of those people that acts like I’m dying at a 9 am blood draw. (PS my idea of breakfast is coffee.) This is not an admirable quality, nor one I am proud to admit. As you can imagine, when I fist heard 21 day fast I was horrified. Jesus fasted and prayed for 40 days…that was miracle enough to convince me of divinity. (You recall how much I like food right?)
In the weeks preparing for the fast our pastoral staff began to prepare us. They provided ample scripture support, prayer and announced the three ways to approach the fast. 1. An honest to goodness 21 day fast (just water, juice, coffee). 2. A partial fast, morning to night fast, 6am to 6pm. That is less scary. 3. Select days of Fasting. I am not proud to admit that I zoned out a little on some of the details, but I have the guide book, my Bible and I have not eaten anything today. My planned days are Tuesday and Thursday; however, this week it is today (start day and Thursday – it seemed right to participate the very first day.)
I am not sharing this to brag. I am anxious about this commitment. I’m scared, this is such new territory for me, but I think back to Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Physics of the Quest”. I am seeking God. I am seeking truth. If I am willing to accept truth, it will be given to me. Truth is good, but sometimes it is overwhelming. It can call us to more than we imagine, and I have a vivid imagination – just ask my mother. Considering we are dealing with God, this is a fearful and wonderful time.
This is one of my obstacles, I struggle with feeling unworthy and that is often my obstacle in my relationship with God. I know, I am worthy because God made me worthy through His grace. If God says I am worthy, who am I to question that…right? Well, I question my worth…all the time, like every time I walk into church or want to volunteer. There is a little voice saying, “And just who are you to being doing _____?” The perk is once Sue is convinced of something, I am unwavering, unshakable, obstinate even. (Again for just ask my Mother.)
So pop culture philosophy circles to Biblical truth back to “Physics of the quest”.. I will find truth, first because I believe in God. I will find truth because I am seeking it and willing to accept what God reveals to me.
I know…what does this have to do with the 21 day fast and creating change. Creating change, large scale is important. In fact, with the state of our communities, families, churches and the world in general – creating change is priority, code red. However, change starts with individuals.
My ENTIRE blog is about reflection and sharing with you the changes I am striving to make. In order to change you have to do something different. For me, Fasting is new territory. God is going to do something through this experience for me. Perhaps this is when I break through this plateau, struggling with that unworthiness. Maybe I’ll be divinely inspired and God will give me words to write that change someone’s life. Maybe I’ll just learn to be still and hear His voice.
In my Church, they tell us to press in. I am pressing in. Don’t read this and pat me on the back for my efforts, that is not what we are here for. Feel free to pray for me, better yet pray with me. Start somewhere in creating change. I started just by listening to a Christian radio station. Then reading and completing a devotion book, all before finding my church. Start. Press in. God will lead the way.
Back to the fast…
Not only did I fast from sun up to 6 PM, my husband did too. There were a few rough patches. Many whispered prayers and around 3:30 PM attitudes were not so sunny. It dawned on me we had not completed our devotion. We had not focused our efforts and thoughts on the reason for the fast. We had been talking about it with one another, but not praying and reading God’s word. We stopped what we were doing and read the scriptures for today and the information from the guide. Along with our son we prayed for change in our family, we prayed for our church, Family and community and many other issues. When we were done the atmosphere was different. 6 PM came and went without fanfare, dinner was at 7 PM. I was not even that hungry.
Two more interesting things: 1. I have so many ideas in my head right now, I can’t keep up with them. 2. I started an online bible study tonight called “Unashamed”. Guess what the main topic is about….dealing with feelings of unworthiness.
GOD IS GOOD…ALL THE TIME